Question: Shakespeare wrote to entertain a varied audience.
What examples of humour in the play would have entertained an educated audience? What would have entertained
Response: I think that the character of Sir Toby was put into
the play because he probably acted like many of the common folk would’ve acted because he drank a lot more than
an educated person probably would’ve acted and because he
talked and used speech and words that a people of the common might have used and not an educated man or woman
might have used. He probably put the character of Count
Orsino into the play because he was of a noble class and
used words and humour that would’ve been appealing and
possibly even remindful of how other nobles watching the
play might have acted towards one of their subjects during
their own lives. And like student 21 hinted on, homosexuality might have been used as humour to entertain both classes
as they watched the play. The homosexuality being Viola
disguised as a man (Cesario) and Count Orsino being the
pursuer. This play has both comedy for common people and
humour for people of a noble class which makes this a very
versitle play and one that is appealing to everyone.
Question: Twelfth Night contains many examples of dramatic irony, where the audience knows more than some of
the characters do. Identify examples of dramatic irony in the
play and discuss how they contribute to the audience’s enjoyment of the play.
Response: I agree with student number 6. The audience
knew the whole time that Cesario (Viola) was indeed a girl,
but the ones in the play of course did not. I think this made
it all the more enjoyable for the audience to know something
the one’s doing the play didn’t even know. I think it gives the
audience something to look forward to and something to
enjoy throughout the whole play.
These are some examples from students who would
participate in class discussions only under duress (level 4).
Again they illustrate that these students do have something
to contribute to the discussion, but regular discussions are
unlikely to include their voice. Below is a response to the
same questions above.
Response: I agree with all of the above examples, especially
since it was quite funny to see Malvolio cross gartered and
in yellow. Another example of dramatic irony was found in
the clown, who was probably the smartest character in the
book. He could act the part of a fool expertly, but seemed to
always be more informed than the other characters, such as
when he proved that Olivia was mistaken and a fool through
some quick thinking when she was displeased with him. This
the audience saw, and in general formed the opinion that
the clown was indeed the smartest person in the play, even
though he was perceived by many characters to be nothing
more than a raving fool.
In this next example, we see a student who responds
only under duress (level 4) in class discussions post a
comment that refers to another student who responds
only rarely (level 3) in class discussions. The student accepts most of the previous post but feels free to disagree
at one point.
Question: How does this novel ( To Kill a Mockingbird)
represent a search for identity?
Response: I think that Scouts aunt should leave her alone
regarding being more like a lady, its scout’s decision who she
wants to be so no body has the right to take that away from
her. I think she will grow more ladylike as she gets older
naturally, so she shouldn’t be pressured into maturing faster
than she is ready for. That pretty much defeats the purpose of
a childhood. So, I agree mostly with student 7/6, except for
the fact that i think Scout still has alot to discover about her
inner self, and that it will take more than just recent events
to figure out why so many Maycombers are so prejudiced
against African Americans. She needs to find out how wrong
it is, and i don’t think the trial was enough for her to see how
harsh/unfairly black people were treated everyday in the Jim
We found that the reluctant participants could and
would make valuable contributions to the process. We also
see this trend in a second group now involved in the process. This proves to be very important, as we have not seen
an increase in regular classroom participation, and this is
the only voice we are hearing from these students.
For teachers seeking to encourage student involvement,
discussion, and collaboration, blending blogs and online
discussions with traditional classroom activities during a
unit or semester may help to achieve a higher rate of student involvement and collaboration.
—Reynold Redekopp has taught junior and senior high school for more
than 25 years and is currently teaching technology courses on the Faculty
of Education at the University of Manitoba.
—Elizabeth Bourbonniere teaches senior high school English language arts
at River East Collegiate in Winnipeg, Manitoba.